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Marshall University’s Board of Governors was presented with a $116 million balanced budget Wednesday that included a tuition increase.
A tuition increase isn’t uncommon in the state’s higher education system today. Many of the states four year institutions are looking to tuition increases, at least in part, to make up for state budget cuts. Marshall University’s Board of Governors approved an increase of between 3 to 4% for students Wednesday. The increase is less than the 5% threshold that requires the approval from the Higher Education Policy Commission.
Beginning in the fall, tuition and fees for full-time resident undergraduate students will increase $144 per semester. Undergraduate students who live in the metro counties of Kentucky and Ohio will pay $226 more, while non-resident undergraduate students will pay $288 more. Tuition for most resident graduate students will go up $101 per semester, with metro graduate students paying $177 more and non-resident graduate students paying $250 more.
Marshall Interim President Gary White said they had to come up with new ideas.
“We started a zero-based budget process and that implies that you look at everything you do and you quantify not only the important functions, but what those important functions cost, you don’t look at the revenue side, you simply look at the expense side and once those are identified, then you have a target,” White said.
It’s the third year that not just Marshall, but all higher education institutions in the state have faced budget cuts from the state Legislature. How did Marshall deal with that cut and still find a way to get the budget balanced? And find money for employee raises? By using new ideas like White said. Among those was changing the student tuition structure, no longer are there individual lab and course fees. Students pay college fees along with their tuition and the extra money needed for labs comes from that group.
But White said they came up with other ideas like the implementation of a faculty group to examine the budget. The Marshall 20/20 group was created in the fall of 2013 by former President Stephen J. Kopp and has played a large role in identifying areas that can be cut. The group of employees and faculty is compromised from different University departments that are always studying the budget.